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R HEART U O Y S E H C T H AT T O U Y L I A D G IN AN INSPIR Vol. 1 No. 13 Pages 16 PUNE, MONDAY MAY 7, 2012 Rs.4 WEATHER


Sunrise .....................06:04 Sunset ......................18:58 Moonrise .................19:23 Moonset ..................06:54 Temperature Min ...........................22 0c Max ...........................36 0c

Young ones on why pals are so important >> P6



Excessive use may result in Computer Vision Syndrome >> P12

Explore the regality of the unique Dawoodi Bohra platter >>P15

Blood donors an SMS away Khushroo Poacha of Nagpur started an online blood bank that connects donors and recipients through the magic of an SMS


hen you wait outside an ICU at a hospital, you have time to observe and reflect on a lot of things that do not strike you otherwise. Khushroo Poacha of Nagpur, was watching over his ailing grandmother, when he saw a group of angry relatives beating up a resident doctor. Intervening, he learnt that a woman had passed away and the relatives held the doctor responsible. The doctor in turn blamed the relatives for failing to procure blood. In the city for treatment, the relatives had no idea on how and where to procure blood. “Realising that this must be a common problem is one thing,” says Khushroo, “But back then in 1994, I did not see any obvious solution.” In 1999, a friend in Nagpur lost someone close just because the right blood could not be found in time. The blood banks would tell everyone to bring in donors and this would rarely happen, and eventually a life would be lost. A sense of déjà vu haunted him and it was while sitting at an internet café, he realised that he could start a website that would connect donors and patients. “Those were the early days of the internet and even setting up a website was not as easy as it is now. I was not that internet savvy either.” Computers were still expensive, but he managed to get a second-hand one, and with the help of a friend set up,

It’s needed, it’s safe z Every two seconds someone is in need of blood z Over 38,000 blood donations are needed everyday. z Donated blood is tested for HIV before transfer Now he had the mechanism in place, but everything went rather slow. Friends and family registered as donors and eventually requests trickled in. “I realised that the demand was a lot higher, but the message had not yet reached the public domain.” It was while watching the devastation from the Gujarat earthquake on TV, that he had a light bulb moment and requested Zee News to add a ticker about the indianblooddonors site. “Within fifteen minutes the site crashed” he laughs. So many donors registered within minutes, that by the time the patients were airlifted from Bhuj, the AFMC at Pune was flooded with waiting donors. That was just the beginning. What followed was a media blitz and even The Guardian UK and BBC covered his story about how a site in Nagpur built a web of blood donors the world over. The website benefitted and today IBD has over 50,000 registered donors and counting. Some stories get better with time and IBD is one such. A young listener

at Khushroo’s guest lecture cture at IIM Ahmedabad remarked that IBD just serviced the classes as the internet was not accessible to the poor and rural masses. Several sleepless nights later, while on a trip to a grocery store the solution presented ented itself to Khushroo. An avid cricket et fan, not wanting to miss a minute te of it, he kept track of the game through ough texting and SMS. “It was a eurekaa moment for me” he smiles. “If texts exts could connect fans and scores, wee could connect donors and patients”. ts”. Getting a number and setting g up the service was more about the he mechanics. In fact, after the first service provider hiked the rates with a view to the heavy traffic, he and his wife decided to run the he service themselves. From being an idea to being on the Govt. Of India ia Disaster Management database ass a resource, it has been a long and d interesting journey. Using the bloodline is simple. When someone one needs blood, they send a text message ssage to +919665500000 in a specific format. Within seconds, they willl get a donor’s name, blood group and d contact details. The process then triggers an SMS to the donor with the contact details of the patient, and the donor and the recipient organise the blood donation between themselves. If the donor for whatever reason is unable to help, >> Continued on Page 5

The SMS format z Contact Voluntary Blood Donors of your City z SMS DONOR<space>STD CODE<space>Blood Group to 09665500000 z Example: DONOR 020 B+ z Important Instruction: Please use the option if you need blood donors for your near and dear ones. Cross-check with the relatives and patients what blood group is needed. Once we give you a donor’s number and alert them, we do not give the same number to anybody else. When you receive the Donors Number call them up immediately.

Citizens to answer calls for help ECO-AWARENESS With the intention of reviving the country’s sagging sparrow population, ‘Citizen Sparrow’, a people’s initiative, seeks to fight the dwindling numbers through active citizen participation

What is your

LIFE 365 daily all about?



he city’s bird population has experienced a steady decline over the past few years. Most of the migratory birds have deserted the city on account of the rapid infrastructural development the Pune has witnessed in the past decade. Sparrows are not an exception to this trend—their numbers have been on the wane for a number of years. In a bid to stem the steady dwindle, ‘Citizen Sparrow’, a nationwide campaign, aims to identify the reasons contributing to the decreasing numbers. The organisation is a public participatory project started by the Bombay Natural History Society in conjunction with a number of organisations concerned with the preservation of birds, nature and other wildlife in not just Mumbai or Maharashtra, but the entire country.

Just like Pune is a city that still respects values, welcomes ideas and supports genuine efforts, Life 365 is more than just a daily. Going beyond news that has already been done to death, Life 365 rejects negativity,

What you can do...


he first thing you should do is visit the website www., and sign up for the project at no cost. This will also enable you to submit your findings and therefore all the information received will be collated on a central database. The nature of the findings When submitting the data online, one is expected to provide details such as the location of the bird sighting. Google Maps is then used to pinpoint the exact spot. Next, you will be asked to describe the locality, as well as answer several questions on sparrows, such as how many you saw and whether you saw nests, etc. The survey should take an average user a mere five to ten minutes to complete. The collated information is then used to draw as accurate a picture of the location in question as possible. If you have contributed a story regarding your sparrow experience, it will be catalogued for other participants in the project to read.

sensationalism and superficiality in its columns. We are here to promote good values, good people and good work. As a cosmopolitan, commercial hub, the city today abounds with enlightened individuals, talented

creators and innovators, genuine activists and social groups. All inspired and inspiring citizens. Life 365 will strive to capture the mixed ethos of it all. We promise to function as a responsible and

The project aims to understand why sparrow numbers are declining, focussing in particular, on the mostaffected areas. This will naturally entail a considerable amount of time, effort and information to be invested in order to formulate an accurate database for scientists to then work with in order to reverse the decline. As this is a national project, it is not possible for experts to be everywhere a sparrow might be. Therefore, ‘Citizen Sparrow’ largely relies on information provided by the public in order to accurately document the sparrow population. So will you be a ‘Citizen saving sparrows’ this summer?

EXTRAA To get involved, visit www. and sign up on their homepage.

responsive member of the Fourth Estate. We believe it is doable. All we need is for you to believe in us… Call 020-25534888/25538835 or 8806 365 365

Life 365_Issue 13_Page 1  
Life 365_Issue 13_Page 1  

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